IN PICTURES | Flowers, candles and signs, mourners honour liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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People gather to mourn the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the steps in front of the Supreme Court on 18 September 2020 in Washington, DC.
People gather to mourn the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the steps in front of the Supreme Court on 18 September 2020 in Washington, DC.
Tasos Katopodis / AFP
  • US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at the age of 87 on Friday, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. 
  • People gathered in front of the Supreme Court to honour and mourn the life of a woman who helped score major victories for Democrats and liberals on numerous hotly contested issues.
  • Several hundred people clutched candles, readied flowers and signed quietly at the steps of the US Supreme Court.


On a cool night in a heated political year in Washington, several hundred people clutching candles, flowers and signs quietly gathered on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court to mark the death on Friday of liberal icon Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

A little before midnight, a woman sang the mourners' Kaddish, a traditional Jewish prayer for the dead, on the first night of Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish New Year.

People gather to mourn the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in front of the Supreme Court on 18 September 2020 in Washington, DC.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
People taking a picture of a portrait of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that is displayed at a storefront in New York.
Jeenah Moon / AFP

"It just feels so nice to be out here with other people who feel the same way," said Dominik Radawski, 46, standing on the steps that are often the site of boisterous shouting matches when the court hears arguments on sensitive cases. "There's no one here being angry. It's this sense of quiet contemplation, this sense of respect

A trailblazing women's rights lawyer before she joined the court in 1993, Ginsburg - popularly known by her initials RBG - emerged as an unlikely pop icon in recent years, her image emblazoned on coffee mugs, T-shirts and children's books.

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
LGBTQIA+ flag flew up high in front of the US Supreme Court where people gathered to honour Ruth Bader Ginsburg who participated in landmark cases that covered issues ranging from abortion rights to same-sex marriage.
Tasos Katopodis / AFP

Since her 1993 appointment to the Supreme Court by former president Bill Clinton, Ginsberg participated in landmark cases that covered issues ranging from abortion rights to same-sex marriage. 

"RBG inspired so many young women to follow their dreams and set their sights on things that so many people deemed impossible. And she made them possible," said Claire Shelby, 19. "I think that everyone out here tonight is here tonight to honour her memory and make sure she is not tarnished in history."

People gather to mourn the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in front of the Supreme Court on 18 September 2020 in Washington, DC.
US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The mourning of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in front of the Supreme Court continues as people gather to honour her life.
Tasos Katopodis / AFP

Another tribute played out in New York, where an image of Ginsburg and the alternating messages "thank you" and "rest in power" were projected on the front of the New York State Civil Supreme Court building in Manhattan.

The quiet belied the likely political fight coming. Republican U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Friday said the Senate would vote on any replacement nominated by President Donald Trump, who now has a chance to appoint a third justice to the court, giving it a 6-3 conservative majority.

"This is the question everyone's thinking about tonight," said David Hill, 60. "Will someone like her come through again?"

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